By Gav Rossweb_G042813

WHAT started off as a simple project for a high school media class has taken on a life of its own – gaining enough notoriety to warrant a sequel. In 2011, when they were still VCE students, Wonthaggi’s Nathan Ware and his mate Nick Poole shot an amateur (but very funny) sketch comedy piece showcasing the countless wonderful attractions their town has on offer. The video, which was uploaded to YouTube, has amassed more than 6000 views, turning Mr Ware, a part-time supermarket shelf-stacker, into something of a minor celebrity… in Wonthaggi, at least. “I thought it was just going to get a few hundred views,” Nathan muses. “I didn’t think it’d get into the thousands.” Over time, locals impressed with the video began asking the budding comedians whether a follow up was planned. “I never really put much thought into it because it was never more than a school project,” Nathan continues. “But then Nick got a new camera and we thought we might as well do something we know. “So we did a sequel.”

‘Places in the World: The Apology’ is 12-plus minutes of Nathan and Nick attempting to make amends with the town they grew up in. Locations are revisited with new commentary and there are few new spots thrown in for good measure. “We just thought it’d be a funny thing to do again,” Nathan says. “And we wanted to see if we could get a good result like the first time.” The latest video sees Nathan (swapping his old Wonthaggi Secondary College windcheater for a rather dapper cream suit jacket) once again assuming the role of tour guide, covering such iconic (and topical) locations as the old Bakehouse building on Watt Street, the pristine, ‘safe’ beach at Harmer’s Haven,  the idle desalination plant and the State Coal Mine. While it sets out to be an apology, the video soon, quite hilariously, repeats the vibe of the original, painting Wonthaggi with one unflattering, broad brush. And it has its fair share of unscripted moments.

“There’s a solid script, but sometimes these moments come up and you just go with it,” Nick, the vocal cameraman in the clip, explains. A prime example of an unplanned disruption, which makes the final cut in the new video, occurs while Nathan is explaining the significance of information on one of the Historical Society plaques dotted around town. Standing at the corner of McBride Avenue and Graham Street, the presenter is rudely interrupted by a few rowdy friends driving through the intersection’s roundabout. After throwing a projectile, the car then returns to the roundabout several times during the short segment. “That was completely spontaneous – it was just beautiful timing from our friends,” Nick grins. While the videos are poking fun at Wonthaggi, it’s done in an endearing way and not intended to cause any offence. After officially forming ‘Nick & Nath Productions’, the pair now plan on producing more skits, some of which may be featured on a Facebook page they plan on creating. Just don’t expect anything else focusing on Wonthaggi’s unique landmarks. “We’re done with Wonthaggi,” Nick announces.

What about other parts of Bass Coast?  ‘Places in the World – Grantville’, perhaps? “I don’t think so,” Nick answers. “We don’t know other towns well enough. We don’t want to slag off a town we’re not part of.” “Yeah, we don’t want to be completely hated,” Nathan quips. “But we’ve got plans to do other stuff,” Nick continues. “We’ve got a couple of scripts, but just trying to get the time to get people together to film it is the hardest part.” “We just enjoy doing it,” Nathan says with a shrug. “And if others like it, well, that’s just a bonus, really.”

To check out the new clip, go to www.youtube.com and type ‘Places in the world apology’ into the search box. A link to the original video is embedded in the video’s description.